I have been a nurse for a good while but 5 months ago I switched from the med-surg arena to L&D. I had 8 weeks of orientation and have been on my own for 3 months now.
I have spoken many times over with nurses who have been around and the thing I keep hearing is that I won't feel comfortable for about 2 years and won't feel good and proficient for about 5. I am OK with that. However I can't shake this feeling that even for only 6 months in I'm just not doing well. I feel like there are some pretty basic things that I know to do but it's not on auto pilot yet and often have others reminding me to do.
The other day I had a pt come in. 5cm. I was only about halfway through her admit process (luckily IV in and labs sent) when baby had a significant deceleration. I did the normal IU resuscitation. Turned one side and then to the other, started fluid bolus and 02 which did not resolve it. I hit the staff assist button because I knew I needed more hands. Coworkers were awesome. Had several people come right and fly into action. My team lead did a cervical check, placed a scalp electrode and got her in knee-chest position all the while calmly talking to pt about what was happening. Other people called the midwife and set up the tray for delivery. All I did was chart at that point - albeit there was a lot to chart in these situations and someone needed to so it but I felt so stupid that this was MY patient and someone else was doing all the hands on/patient care.
If I could have stopped time for 2minutes I could have thought through all the specifics that needed to be done and implemented them but of course you can't stop time. In the chaos I got all scatterbrained instead of focused. Can the "perform under pressure" trait be learned or this just a thing some people have and others don't? Also because the pt went so fast not everything was set to go at delivery. My bag for pit wasn't ready to run after the delivery of placenta. Not the biggest deal ever I guess but with so many other people helping, you think I could have remembered to do some of that basic stuff.
We generally have 2 nurses in at time of delivery. One for mom and one for baby. It seems like I often find the baby nurse jumping in and helping with mom stuff. I.e. coaching on pushing, updating stuff in computer. I don't mind the help - and I am fine if it is done in the spirit of teamwork but I get the feeling it's because they feel like I am forgetting or not doing a great job. I don't know. There's other things too but you get the jist. I have not been "talked to" by management to say I am not performing to expectations but that is certainly how I feel.
This is what I have always wanted to do and I feel so honored that after all these years I am finally able to do it. But if its not a good fit for me I suppose I need to know when and how to bow out gracefully.
In every other field of nursing I have always felt nervous but found things came together just fine and I was "better" than I gave myself credit for. But here it feels the opposite...